According to MarketingCharts, online ad revenues reached $47.6 billion in 2014, which is approximately $5 billion more than 2013. The same source estimates online ads to bring in $52.5 billion in 2015, $57 billion in 2016, $61.5 billion come 2017 and $65.9 by 2018. These numbers show just how important digital marketing is and why businesses should rely on it. However, only you can determine how much of this revenue can be directed to your corporate bank account. We’re here to tell you how to increase the ROI of your online marketing campaign.
To get the maximum ROI of your marketing campaign, consider the following recommendations.
Embrace Inbound Marketing
Outbound marketing was the marketing champion during most of the 20th century. Characteristically loud and overpowering, it’s based on the notion of interruption, be it through cold calls or unwanted emails (spam) to potential clients. However,this marketer centric approach is losing its popularity, a fact proven by the 91% of contacts choosing to unsubscribe from email lists.
The internet has changed the way people buy. Rather than contacting the seller for information and consequently allowing them to influence the sales process, buyers can carry out their own research. According to the Corporate Executive Board, on average B2B buyers are 57% through their purchase by the time they connect with the seller. Inbound marketing monetizes on this trend; it ensures that companies are found online through content and search engine optimization (SEO). Visitors are then converted into leads by their own interest and committment to the product or services they find on your site: they grant persmission for you to contact them.
If you’re hesitant about opting for inbound marketing, here are some numbers to change your mind:
- Ecosultancy reports that the average cost of generating leads through inbound marketing (estimated $143) was half of that for outbound marketing ($373) in 2013.
- CMO by Adobe pointed out that marketers have started allocating 34% of their budgets to inbound tactics, which is 11% more than what they dedicate for outbound marketing.
- According to Axonn’s 2013 Content Marketing Trends report, 73.7% believe that custom content marketing (an inbound marketing method) was responsible for increasing traffic to their sites.
Start Content Marketing with a Blog
Content marketing is one of the main subsets of inbound marketing. It encompasses different channels such as promotional articles and social media, which is probably why Inbound Marketing Agents reported that 32% of brands have started spending more on content marketing. Therefore, you need to focus on these to generate leads and actually make your online marketing campaigns more effective. One channel you should start working on is blogs.
According to AC Nielson, there were 181 million blogs by 2012, which is five times the number of blogs in 2007. In 2015, the number is expected to increase, especially after Content+ pointed out that blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions. Further proving the power of this social medium is an infographic by Ignite Spot Outsourced Accounting, which revealed the following:
- Blogs of small businesses help in generating 126% more leads.
- 81% of U.S. consumers trust the information posted on blogs.
- Websites with blogs tend to have more than 424% indexed pages.
- 60% of buyers feel positive about brands after going through their blog sites.
- 70% prefer articles over ads to learn about a company.
Just having a blog, though, won’t be enough. You need to invest your time in it to make it stand out. To further make your blog boost your online marketing campaign, follow the tips below.
Publish Quality Content
Quality content is that which provides value to readers. One of the best practices of blogging is developing content around the questions, issues and challenges which your customers face. By answering these objectively, you’ll become a trusted source of information. As a result, visitors will become more receptive to learning about your brand and will visit the rest of your site to find out about it.
Be consistent while writing your blog to keep your visitors “hooked”. However, plan your schedule according to your time and budget. For instance, if you’re outsourcing blog writing, you’re welcome to post multiple times a week whereas an in-house blogger may only have the capacity to produce content once or twice. Regardless, ensure consistency to build your reader base as well as boost your site’s rankings on search engine results. This will generate more traffic from search engines, increasing your ROI.
Choose an Angle for Your Posts
Your competitors can actually help you determine an angle for your blog. You can either follow their lead if you notice that their strategy has increased their traffic and popularity. You’re also welcome to add your own twist to their technique to make your blog unique. On the other hand, you can go through your competitors’ posts to determine which niche you can focus on and ultimately start blogging about.
Always Include Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is one of the important elements of a blog. The content before these few lines usually directs online visitors from the top of the funnel, slowly generating leads. From your call to action onwards, you can focus on nurturing your leads and winning them over.
Leverage Social Networks for Content Marketing
Based on the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ 2015 B2B Content Marketing Report, 84% of marketers use content marketing for brand awareness. Meanwhile, 85% rely on it for lead generation and 81% for engagement. These three aspects can easily be tackled with social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, these two are the de facto network for ensuring a wide reach and spreading brand awareness. Furthermore, Pinterest is quickly rising up the ranks of top networks while Google+. LinkedIn and YouTube are steadily holding on to their positions in the top 10 list.
If you haven’t yet created your presence on social media networks, the following statistics from Focus’ The Real Cost of Social Media infographic may change your mind.
- Facebook fans spent an average of $71.84 more than non-fans on different products. This is based on a survey conducted by Syncapse on 20 brands. McDonald’s fans spent $310.18 on average while non-fans spent $150.93. Meanwhile, Nike Facebook fans spent $205.02 on average whereas non-fans spent $83.69.
- Brands’ Facebook fans are 28% more likely to continue using their products. They’re also 41% more likely to recommend fanned products to their friends.
- The ROI of using Twitter is 43% as the monthly value of followers is $2.38 while the monthly cost per follower is $1.67.
- When @DellOutlet relied on Twitter to expand its brand awareness, the company generated $3 million from followers who clicked its posts to the website. The company generated $1 million from Twitter followers over the span of six months.
Now that you’re convinced of the power of social networks and their ability to boost your returns, here are some strategies you can use.
Make Your Social Media Campaigns Proactive
Social networks are no longer limited to PR and customer service, which is why companies are becoming more proactive in their approach. In addition to leading conversations with content, they can control the conversation space by engaging with a Facebook page. Moreover, through social listening tools, marketers can influence what people say rather than react to what they’re saying. As a result, they can improve their brand’s perception whenever necessary. Doing so will increase your ROI since you’ll generate a loyal following and ensure their sales for the long run.
Use Social Networks to Engage and Persuade
While blogs offer more space to provide valuable info and content, social networks are more effective for increasing user engagement. This is because they allow buyers and seller to communicate very quickly, pushing the former through the funnel equally as fast. Further confirming this point is a Gallup study, which revealed that companies that successfully engage their clientele achieve 63% lower customer attrition, 55% larger share of wallet, and 50% more productivity.
Keep Your Competitors Closer
Competitive intelligence is vital to ensure the efficiency of your social networking efforts. After all, it can alert you to future profitability problems, especially due to online companies that pop out of nowhere to challenge traditional ones. So make sure to know who’s competing with you for your customers’ time, attention, and dollars. In addition, find out how they’re engaging their clients to come up with successful strategies yourself.
Target the Different Type of Sharers to Cover All Bases
During the 2012 SES Conference in Toronto, SEO Chicks’ Judith Lewis introducedthe seven types of social media sharers.
- Altruists – Making up the largest percentage of social media users, Altruists share information with friends and followers to help them. This makes them ideal for non-profits, fundraising companies and other who need social shares to help others.
- Selectives – The second largest group of users, they share information relevant to a certain friend.
- Passionates – This group of social media users share information because they share a common passion with other people.
- Connectors – As their name suggests, connectors share materials to socialize with others. Having them on your list is a treat because they use social networking sites effectively.
- Trendspotters – Trendsetters use social media to share information which proves their awareness of new and hot trends. Because they are credible sources, they can be useful for businesses that want to boost their visibility.
- Provocateurs – Social networking users of this type share content to get reactions from their followers and friends.
- Careerists – Careerists are those who use social networking sites to share business or career-related information.
By analyzing which of these types of sharers your social networking accounts receive, you can customize your content and ensure that its reach extends beyond your fans or followers. As a result, your social media marketing efforts can complement other marketing campaigns you have.
Use Content Marketing to Build Your Email Contact List
Email marketing is one of the top tools for building an online community. The fact that you have been authorized to email someone shows how much they trust you and indicates that they want to learn more about you. Email is also valuable because people check their inboxes more often than a brand’s website or social media. Finally, while a status update can be ignored or lost in the crowd, a new inbox item is bound to stand out prominently.
With MarketingSherpa reporting that email marketing offers two times higher ROI than conventional outbound methods, it’s about time that you focus on building an email contact list. Though the option of buying a list is on the table, you should avoid it since you can’t trust the list’s quality and may come across as a spammer. Besides, others are using the same list, which may annoy your recipients and ultimately affect your reputation. So, to spare yourself a lot of hassle, here are some good strategies to create a robust email list via content marketing.
Create a To-The-Point Landing Page
A landing page is one of the best tools for growing email lists. However, focus on providing content that pushes leads through the funnel and avoid distractions which interrupt visitors from reaching your call to action. If your visitors only have the option of adding their contact details, your chances of getting what you seek will increase.
Add an Incentive to Your Future Emails’ Recipients
In order to get your website visitors’ email addresses, you need to offer them something of value for their precious emails. This is where your knowledge of content marketing can help. For instance, you can create an eBook that would interest your clientele and provide it in exchange for contact information.
Gather Subscriptions through Your Blog
Including a blog subscription box on your blog site is bound to influence your users to sign up for more content. However, you’ll need to use social networking sites to drive traffic and write about subjects which your readers are most interested in. Only then can they find out about your subscription box and actually submit their email addresses.
What makes these methods highly effective and popular is the fact that you can automate and analyze them. Automation saves your time, allowing you to focus on core operations and other aspects which require your attention. Meanwhile, analyzing your progress ensures that you’re on track and helps you re-strategize if things aren’t going your way. So, start including these techniques to your online marketing campaign to successfully reach out to your clientele and increase the ROI of your online marketing efforts.